Mopp Gear Exchange
Mopp gear exchange is done by squads or crews so
This phase is the actual conduct of the two
that leaders can control the rate of overgarment
operational decon techniques: the vehicle wash down
exchange. This procedure also ensures that adequate
and the MOPP gear exchange. Companies will
stocks of overgarments at company level are
provide their own security while vehicle wash down
maintained and accounted for. Two Seabees can work
and MOPP gear exchange are in progress.
as a buddy team, or a Seabee can execute the technique
by himself. However, when squad leaders supervise,
When finished, troops mount their vehicles and
they can prevent unnecessary exchanges of MOPP
move to their new battle positions. For planning
gear by using the chemical agent monitor (CAM).
purposes, the vehicle washdown site will process
one vehicle every 2 to 3 minutes; and MOPP gear
During the MOPP gear exchange, you change your
exchange will take approximately 30 minutes.
contaminated MOPP gear for new, uncontaminated gear.
The squad or platoon is responsible for conducting its
Vehicle Wash Down
own MOPP gear exchange at the assembly area of the
Before vehicle washdown, units conduct the operator's
suit replacements are provided by supply (S-4) and
spray down to increase decon effectiveness. Ensure that
issued near the decon site.
water pressure is from 60 to 120 psi; the pressure rate at
which most gross contamination can be removed. Vehicle
wash down is conducted as far forward as possible and is
MOPP gear exchange removes nearly all liquid or
done by the battalion decon crew. The decon crew will use
solid contamination from you and your individual
the power-driven decon equipment (PDDE) currently
equipment. When personnel have little, if any, vapor
available in the TOA to conduct vehicle wash down, such
hazards on themselves, they may use hazard-free areas
as the M12A1 or M17 power-drive decon apparatus
to unmask, to eat, to drink, and to rest temporarily.
(PDDA). If the mission permits, it is most effective to
Before unmasking and lowering MOPP levels for
conduct vehicle wash down between 1 to 6 hours after
temporary relief, conduct unmasking procedures
contamination. The longer you wait to remove or neutralize
using the CAM.
you wait, the more opportunity there will be for agents to
Eight steps are used in MOPP gear exchange. The
spread and make contamination problems worse.
squad forms a circle around a lead team, typically the
squad leader and another Seabee. The troops are
Each vehicle receives a 2- to 3-minute vehicle
paired into buddy teams and spaced around the
wash down with hot, soapy water from the PDDE.
circle with 1 to 3 meters between teams. Members
Vehicle operators maintain visual contact with each
of each team alternate as they go through step 1
other to know when to move from concealment to the
(decon gear). At steps 2 through 7, one member
washdown area. The PDDE operator gives a signal
completes all steps with the assistance from the
when vehicles are required to move into position.
other team member. Roles are then reversed. See
Personnel in wheeled vehicles should dismount
table 6-3 for detailed instructions on this method.
before wash down to avoid getting wet. Following
this, the vehicle moves to the MOPP gear exchange
These techniques do not guarantee safe conditions
area. Troops will dismount and conduct MOPP gear
required to allow unmasking on or near equipment.
exchange by squad or vehicle.
However, troops may move upwind of dirty vapor
equipment into a clean area or collective protection
Depending on the availability of equipment,
METT-T, and the tactical situation, units have the
unmask. Conduct continuous contamination checks
and monitoring to ensure you stay in clean areas. Use
two-lane wash down. When using two M12A1 or
the M258A1 kit and check it every 15 to 20 minutes.
Use the CAM every 5 minutes. Use the CAM together
operational decon speeds up the process (table 6-2
w i t h unmasking procedures. Three types of
procedures are used for MOPP gear exchange: buddy
detection is difficult, do not check vehicle for
contamination after vehicle wash down. Remove
team, triple buddy system, and individual MOPP gear
only gross contamination.